Some Days Are Cooler Than Others: Yesterday I Wrote About Bubblebutts for Afropop Worldwide

I write part-time for Public Radio International’s Afropop Worldwide, which is a treat and a challenge and generally kind of hilarious. Where else can you both make a bet on whether or not the new Femi Kuti record is worth a listen and get into a knock-down drag-out fight over the top ten best Beatles covers, you know?

Where else do nerdy little white boys like me get to write about videos like Major Lazer’s “Bubblebutt”? Continue reading


Okay, Let’s Talk About Kanye

What happened to the Kanye who wrote killer hooks? What happened to the Kanye who spit crazy intelligent, insightful, and hilarious rhymes? What happened to the Kanye who sampled tunes that were rich in both groove and historical significance? That Kanye hasn’t been on the scene for a good three years now, and even though his evil twin has had plenty of commercial success and spent lots of time in the limelight, who cares? He’s not the same guy that gave us “Jesus Walks”,  “Diamonds From Sierra Leone”, “Stronger”, or even “All of the Lights”. I’m not asking him to never change, because half the fun has been watching this guy morph and shift and turn into the infinitely more challenging artist that he became at several points throughout his climb. But I am asking for tracks better than the two he debuted on SNL last weekend. Continue reading

Composer For Hire- Working with Filmmaker Tom Smith

I’m really proud of the work that Tom Smith and I have done together. Tom’s a killer writer, filmmaker, and animator (last I checked he was working on Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken). We started working together in 2007 when I scored the second episode of his cartoon show, Johnsonerson. That project was one of my first for-hire gigs, and it’s still some of my favorite work.

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Bob’s Burgers & Pop (Music) Psychology

While on tour last summer, I passed a few happy moments eating a crudely assembled sandwich under the awning of a gas station on the outskirts of Memphis. Much to my chagrin, the soundtrack to this precious moment was the One Direction song, “What Makes You Beautiful”. I’d heard it before, of course. The song was practically the definition of ubiquitous last summer. But in that moment I heard that song for what it really is- an incredibly subtle psychological ploy to ensnare young female fans.

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